Respondeat Superior

Respondeat superior is a latin phrase for “let the superior reply” and is a principle of law which states that a principal or employer is liable for the acts performed by it’s representative on behalf of them.

It is most relevant in tort law and not contract law.

This is also mostly relevant to agency entities such as real estate agencies and insurance companies.

As long as an agent’s actions were performed within the authority of the agency, then respondeat superior applies and the agency is vicariously liable.

Such regulations prevent employers from ridding themselves of responsibilities should their agents go rouge. After all, agencies are responsible in instilling a moral compass into the behavior of their employees.

It also prevent strategic arrangements between agents and agencies that are unethical.

For example, an insurance agent would be leaving the industry and is willing to perform some type of unethical practice for the employer, but declare that his employer has nothing to do with it after that.

In essence, the wrongful acts committed by agents who are performing tasks within the scope of the employer’s authority, would mean that the agency could be held accountable as well.

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